Raging Sea Book Review

I was first introduced to the Undertow trilogy while at the library last year. One of the book publications I read from time to time had an advertisement about upcoming new books to keep an eye out for. The beautiful book cover and the short synopsis of Undertow peaked my interest, so I added the book to my TBR list. I made sure to get a copy when the book was released and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. It read like an action movie, and I couldn’t put it down. The cliffhanger at the ending left me wanting more.

Raging Sea had a lot to live up to. I spent an entire year waiting to find out the fate of Fathom, Bex, Lyric, her parents, not to mention the entire human race. I dove right on in when the book arrived on my doorstep. The story picks up right where it left off. Bex and Lyric are on the run from the police to locate Tempest, a top secret military base where Lyric’s parents might be imprisoned. The short-fused and quick tempered Alpha girl Arcade tags along to bring destruction on Tempest and set her imprisoned Alpha friends free.

The first half of the book is slower than the second half. Buckley does not spend long passages of text retelling events from Undertow, yet he reminds the reader from time to time about important events from the past. It was refreshing not to have a retelling of what I previously read. Readers who haven’t read Undertow might find themselves confused and uninterested in Raging Sea. You might even want to go back and get a refresher on the last few chapters of Undertow before starting book two in the trilogy. While not as action packed as Undertow, Raging Sea is a good continuation of the story. The cliffhanger at the end is just as gripping. The third book cannot come soon enough.




There are many key elements that make Raging Sea a good novel, which I tried to capture with this moodboard. While there is so much I can say about each specific picture, I will be sure to keep the spoilers at bay.  

  1. Alphas- The former barricade on Coney Island is nothing compared to what the Alphas face behind the closed doors of Tempest. There is much more to this military base than Lyric could have ever imagined. It is here that she must face more than one monster. 
  2. Minerva- The brainwashing and sadistic ways of Minerva continues to cause havoc for the Alphas and humans alike. While her role is brief in Raging Sea, it is apparent she will have a big part to play in the fate of Lyric Walker. 
  3. Abandoned theatre- Along her journey to Tempest, Lyric meets a welcoming clan of loners who invite her to rest. This abandoned theatre becomes a pivotal point in the story. It is here that the rift between the best friend duo begins to widen. Lyric must decide what is most important: staying true to her human ways or becoming more Alpha.  
  4. The Glove- Lyric unleashes her super power any chance that she gets. The cost of this gift begins to take a toll on her. Will the glove prove to be more than she can handle? 
  5. Ferris Wheel- Lyric is forced to return to Coney Island and face a new wave of enemies. We are brought back to the familiar streets of NYC where we first met the Alphas, but so much has changed. 
  6. Undine- Buckley shares more insight on the underwater world. A new, deadly species of sea dwellers appears. Their ability is unlike any the world has seen before. It will take more than an army of humans to defeat this beast and save humanity. 
  7. Lyric- A lot happens to Lyric in these 357 pages. Relationships are tested. Lies are uncovered. And more and more responsibilities are thrust upon her.  Will she be able to control the raging sea of emotions that weigh her down and do what needs to be done?


Red Queen Review and Design Reveal

I have to tell you guys that I have some of the best friends out there. This summer I told my girlfriends that I wanted to start a book club and they instantly all agreed to join the club. If you are a lover of books and aren’t a member of a book club, I highly recommend you go out and join one as soon as possible. Trust me, you’ll love it!

For the month of August we read and discussed Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. What a great first book to select!  It’s a real winner!

Here’s a quick synopsis of the book

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal (source).

My Top 4 Reason Why I Choose to Recommend this Book as Our First Read

  1. I’m a sucker for young adult books, especially sci-fi dystopian books.
  2. Every book blog I read was recommending I read this book. I trust the opinions of the bloggers I read so I had to give it a shot.
  3. I locked myself out of the house one day this summer and, instead of waiting for my husband to get home and let me in, I walked down to the library to check out Red Queen. I spent the next several hours sitting under the tree on our front lawn waiting for Justin to get home. The tree trunk provided a great back support and the gentle breeze made for a relaxing summer afternoon. I was instantly drawn into Mare Barrow’s world and knew I wanted to share it with others.
  4. The book left me wanting to know more. What will be the fate of the Silvers? What will be the fate of the Reds? What will be the fate of Mare? I wanted to discuss possible outcomes and theories about what would happen next.

We had such a fun time discussing this book together. We literally talked about books for three hours that night. While enjoyed for delicious snacks and drinks, but mostly it was all about books. I think book club nights are quickly becoming my favorite night of the month.

After all the girls left, I searched the Internet to see if there was any information about an official Scarlet Guard logo. My efforts left me emptied handed, so last week I sent out a call to all you Red Queen fans to choose a design for the Scarlet Guard. I was elated and surprised to get a comment from Victoria Aveyard informing me that there is an official logo in the book! It turns out that the canon on the torn flag in the end papers of the book is actually the SG logo.

But you probably want to know which logo won, right? It was an extremely close race between Design 1 and Design 2, but Design 2 turned out to be the winner! Thank you to all that voted and shared the post with your friends.

I just listed a new Red Queen inspired design in the shop today. Right now you can get Free Worldwide Shipping till September 13. Don’t miss out!

Don't forget to follow along with Whispering Words and be the first to hear all about new bookish designs and book reviews. 

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The Diviners Book Review and Artwork

With a name that sounds like library one can't help but fall in love with Libba Bray's writing. I first fell in love with Bray when she published her Gemma Doyle series. For my teen years, A Great and Terrible Beauty ranked highly on my favorite book list. You should really consider adding A Great and Terrible Beauty to your TBR list if you haven't checked it out yet. While you're at it, go ahead and add The Diviners to the list as well. You will pos-i-tute-ly love it! 


Set in the Roaring Twenties in New York City, The Diviners tells the story of a group of gifted young people investigating a series of gruesome murders. A mystical evil is sweeping its way across New York City trying to bring about the apocalypse. People are dying in the night. The disturbing murder scenes reveal missing body parts and notes that indicate the murderer is trying to complete a dark and dangerous ritual started many years ago.  When Evie O'Neill arrives in New York City, after being exiled from her hometown in Ohio, she is more than willing to assist her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult," catch the killer-if he doesn't catch her first.

Evie is a great character, a real troublemaker who does as she pleases. Unpredictable, bold, and quick-witted, she is bit more than her Uncle bargained for when he agreed to watch over her. To Uncle Will's chagrin, Evie doesn't like follow rules. She won't back down from what she wants even when it lands her into dangerous situations. Evie is a diviner, a person with supernatural ability. Her ability has only brought her trouble so far, but she's willing to test her luck when she realizes it can help catch the murderer.

You bet-ski Evie is not the only gifted character is this novel. There is Theta Knight, a Zeigreld girl; Memphis Campbell, the Harlem Healer; Henry Dubois IV and Ling Chain, the Dream walkers; Sam Llyod, the Invisible Thief; and Jericho Jones, the Automotive Hybrid. Bray does an excellent job with developing each of these characters. A great deal of time is devoted to understanding their background and personal history. Their lives begin to intertwine as their powers become more prevalent as the occult killer gains momentum. 

Time and time again goose bumps crawled up my spine as I read farther and farther into Evie's tale, but I couldn't put it down. The tension builds and builds and builds, and I needed to get to the end to find out the fate of my favorite characters. You might just want to keep an extra light on while you read late into the night. 

The precise attention to detail creates a realistic Roaring 20s atmosphere. It's like you walked right off the train with Evie and stepped into the bustling streets of New York covered in long pearls, a flapper dress, and T-strapped heels. I applaud Bray for the countless hours of research she devoted to create this historical story. 

The Diviners was on my TBR shelf for far too long. I'm a bit upset that I didn't pick up this novel sooner! I'm a big fan of Libba Bray. Her ability to mix mystery, monsters, magic, and the unexplained and make it all seem so real is quite a talent. This book is another one of her masterpieces. In honor of the long awaited sequel, Lair of Dreams, being released yesterday, I added a new design to the Whispering Words shop. I foresee several more Diviners designs coming soon! 

What Diviners inspired designs would you like to see? Let me know in the comment section below. 


Free Gallery Wall Printables

I mentioned in yesterday's book review that I would showcase a gallery wall of prints and illustrations inspired by Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and here it is! If you haven't had a chance to check out my review for this book, consider reading it to see if it is a book for you. 

I've been brainstorming a list of ideas for the direction I plan to take this blog once my summer vacation comes to an end and one of the many brilliant ideas from the brainstormed list is a gallery wall printables. In essence, the gallery wall collections will contain original prints and illustrations designed by me that are inspired by the words and characters I encounter with each great book I read. Instead of random prints corresponding to each book an over-arching theme, whether it be color, design, or style, will determine the cohesiveness of each collection. I'm excited to see where this new design process will take me as I continue to be inspired by beautiful pieces of literature. 

These prints are supplied from Whispering Words Design and are available for your personal use. You may not use these downloads for professional or commercial use. 

These prints are supplied from Whispering Words Design and are available for your personal use. You may not use these downloads for professional or commercial use. 

The Life of a Part-Time Indian Collection

Each print in The Life of a Part-Time Indian Collection is inspired by some aspect of Junior's life. All you need to do is just click on links to download the free prints. Be sure to use the hashtag #whisperingwordsdesign to show off your new gallery walls. I'd love to see how Sherman Alexie's story further inspires others. 

Indian B&W Print // The culture of the Spokane Indians is a large part of Junior. While he may seem like a traitor for turning his back on some of their customs, he still is and always will be part Indian. He won't let it be "beaten out" of him like many of his ancestors. Size 4x6

American Flag // The teachers on the rez were commissioned with the task to kill the Indian culture in the students as a way to make them more American. I choose to design this American flag because it represents Junior fights to conform to the standards of what's expected of him as well as represent his quest to find hope away from the rez. Size 5x7

Black Triangles // The rows of triangles represent all the darkness he has to overcome in his life: death, poverty, alcoholism, broken relationships. Size 5x7

Alphabet Chart // Junior is a book kisser. That's right, he loves to read books so much that he labels himself as a book kisser. I think it's highly intelligent and a bit romantic. I decided to create a print that represents his passion by showcasing the alphabet, which is used to create all the words, sentences, and paragraphs in the books he loves to read. Size 8x10

Spirit Bear // Death surrounds Junior on the rez. The bear represents all the loved ones that are roaming around in the afterlife. Size 5x7

Catcher of Dreams // Junior wants more from life then what is expected of him. He is not alone in his dreams as many of us leave our birthplace in search of finding our dreams. Size 5x7

New Path // Marked as a traitor for leaving the rez, Junior forges through the difficult path before him and ends up finding his identity and a whole lot of self-confidence. Size 5x7

Two Cultures // Can he be both Indian and American? Does one culture need to overpower the other? In the end Junior realizes he can belong to any tribe he wants whether it be the tribe of Spokane Indians, the tribe of American immigrants, the tribe of bookworms, the tribe of tortilla chips-and-salsa lovers, the tribe of small-town kids. Size 4x6

The Colors of the Wind Collection

These prints are supplied from Whispering Words Design and are available for your personal use. You may not use these downloads for professional or commercial use. 

These prints are supplied from Whispering Words Design and are available for your personal use. You may not use these downloads for professional or commercial use. 

These illustrations received their name because of the color palette used in the design. While I probably could come up with more concrete connections to the book, these prints simply represent Junior's Spokane Indian culture. All three illustrations are sized 5x7. 

Triangles   //      Indian Design    //      Arrows 

Be sure to use the hashtag #whisperingwordsdesign to show off your new gallery walls. I'd love to see how Sherman Alexie's story inspires you. 

Don't forget to follow along with Whispering Words and be the first to hear what else is in store! 

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5 Important Lessons I Learned from To Kill a Mockingbird

There are events in history that develop into defining moments. July 4, 1776 for the United States. July 20, 1969 for all mankind. November 9, 1989 for Berlin. I didn’t know it at the time but the autumn of 2004 would become a defining moment in the history of my life.

Mrs. Hamil-Cole, my ninth grade English teacher, stood in the front of the brightly lit classroom. The whole left side of the room was cased with large windows. It was nice. You never felt like you were trapped inside a prison when you had class in a room that lined the perimeter of the school. Her elbows rested at a forty-five degree angle on her wooden podium as she leaned forward to read from the open book in her hand.

“‘First of all,’ he said, ‘if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…’


‘Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’’

I found myself lost in these words the same way I was the night before as I read them over and over again. I’d read a lot of books in my short fourteen years of existence, and I really do mean A LOT OF BOOKS, but never had one reached out and tugged at my heart the way that To Kill a Mockingbird just did.

For three whole weeks we dissected, devoured, and ingested Harper Lee’s words. I was so deeply moved by this literary masterpiece and the way it connected to each and every one of us in the room that I made the decision to become an English teacher. Since early childhood I wavered between the idea of being a librarian or being a teacher. One day I’d say I want to be a librarian, then the next day I’d say I want to be a teacher. A complete back and forth, up and down, never making up my mind routine. Being a librarian would have been great. I could recommend books to kids, create reading challenges, and decorate the library with extravagant displays. Being an English teacher, though, I could help kids understand the beauty of the words they read and help shape the way they looked at the world and the people within it.


I picked this book up to reread again because Go Set a Watchman is scheduled to release on July 14. The story unfolds 20 years after To Kill A Mockingbird and features my favorite characters: Scout and Atticus Finch. I have mix feelings about this book release. A part of me is eager to travel back to Maycomb County and experience another journey with these characters, but the other parts of me are leery of this new book. At nearly 90 year olds, Harper Lee, who is hard of hearing and has poor eyesight, will release her second novel. The manuscript of Go Set a Watchman was actually finished in the mid-1950s —before Mockingbird was published in 1960— but Lee set it aside when her editor suggested she write about Scout's flashbacks. The manuscript was only recently found among some papers her publicist and attorney were looking through. Many feel that Lee’s been taken advantage of in her old age. Aside from the controversy and the mystery of how the manuscript was located, a larger part of me fears this book will not be as magnificent as Mockingbird and I’ll be left sad and disappointed.   

Because Mockingbird means so much to me, I wanted to share with you, my readers,  five important lessons I learned from it.


Lesson 1:  Don’t let ‘em get your goat.

There are people in life that want nothing more than to belittle, poke-fun, shame, and ridicule others. They seek to steal people’s goats, their inner peace. Having spent most of my life as an oversensitive individual, I know how easy it is for the “goat stealers” to leave an impact. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the biggest lie ever recited. Words have a way to fester into the deepest corners of your brain and linger there long after physical wounds have disappeared. It’s hard to shake them away, to erase them from your consciousness. You want to get angry, to lose your temper, to fight back the pain, but when you give the goat stealers the power to really upset you, to change how you see yourself, they win. So hold your head high, stay true to yourself, and don’t let others rob you of your joy.

Lesson 2: Hatred of any kind-not just racism-is a deadly venom that will destroy you.

Just like a tapeworm burrows into you sucking away at your life source so too will hatred burrow into your heart. It will attach itself and quickly takes over. As it slithers through the chambers of your heart, manipulating you with its whispers to hate and hate and hate, it leaves behind its path of destruction till your heart is hardened and covered in its poison. Even the smallest seed of hatred will find a way to manifest itself, to demand your attention and take away the feelings that matter. Hatred of the color of a man’s skin, hatred of another man’s religion, hatred of a man’s culture, hatred of___ you fill in the blank. It doesn’t matter what kind, because if you don’t eradicate the hatred, it will consume you till nothing is left.

Lesson 3: We need to see life through the eyes of children.

“I think there is just one kind of folks. Folks.” Scout beautifully makes this statement towards the end of the novel, and Jem reaffirms her thinking when he mentions he believed the same thing. Through the eyes of a child people are seen as people. There’s no black, white, rich, poor, smart, dumb.  People are viewed as equals in Scout’s eyes. Atticus, too, hold these words as truth. When it comes down to it, we are just that: people.

Lesson 4: This truth is worth fighting for even if you’re fighting a losing battle.

If there is one lesson which applies to all facets of life it's lesson four. Truth and justice matter. It is worth our time and effort for others to see what is just and fair. We must fight for what’s right even if no one will listen or care. We stand up for the truth because it matters. The moment we stop fighting for what is right is the moment we lose it forever. Yeah, it's tough fighting a losing battle but it must happen.

Lesson 5: The world needs more Atticus Finches.

This book rips open my heart each time I read it. I’m forced to reevaluate the way I see others and the manner in which we conduct our lives and I always come to the same conclusion. The world needs more men and women who will camp outside prison cells at night to protect the innocent. Men and women who teach their children to be kind and understanding to people in all circumstances. Men and women who attack tough situations with tenacity and confidence, who think with both their head and their heart.  Men and women who are slow to anger and abounding in love, who fight with their words instead of their fists. Men and women who are not ashamed to stand up for what's right —even if they stand alone— so that justice is brought to light. Men and women who see past the prejudice that corrupt our past, present, and future and instead see individuals for who they truly are. The world needs more people who will embody the courage, grace, selflessness, and wisdom of Atticus Finch.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on Go Set a Watchman; the book arrives on my front steps on Tuesday. In the meantime, you can head over here and read the first chapter. Make sure you check out the designs below inspired by the beloved classic To Kill a Mockingbird. I had a lot of fun making these prints. Enjoy! 

These prints are supplied from Whispering Words Design and are available for your personal use. You may not use these downloads for professional or commercial use. 

Download See and Hear 8.5x 11 print

Download Leave Her Wild 5x7 print

Download Consider Things From His Point of View 5x7 print

Download Don't Let 'Em Get Your Goat 4x6 print

Download One Does Not Love Breathing 5x7 print

Download Hey, Boo iPhone wallpaper